McPherson Museum to host paranormal investigation

Chad Frey
McPhersonSentinel
One of our storage rooms at the McPherson Museum  guests will have access to during a paranormal investigation coming up Oct. 15 and 16.

nullIs there a ghost walking the grounds of the McPherson Museum? Some believe so, a little man with a funny hat that roamed the halls of a retirement facility that once stood on the museum grounds.

"After he passed away, residents and nurses would still see him roaming the halls. We do not know who he is nor have we seen him," said Carissa Speck, director of the museum.

That doesn't mean there have not been strange, spooky occurrences at the museum.

Those will be under investigation this weekend, part of a visit from the Wichita-based Spirit Hunters Paranormal Society as a fund-raiser for the museum Oct. 15 and 16.

"There are always unexplainable strange noises that you can hear when there is not a lot of people in the museum, or anyone around you," Speck said. "Not  only at night, just anytime of the day. And unexplainable as in, it is not the ceiling or walls settling, wind blowing against the building, the air turning on, or any of the things that you could debunk as “building noises.” These usually sound like things moving, or shuffling, or people messing with artifacts or our exhibits, in areas of the museum that are not occupied. Strange noises that sound like someone is there but actually no one is there. Even more scary when all alone here in the dark."

The investigation will take place throughout the McPherson Museum, including areas not nornally open to the public. Those who purchase a $30 ticket to the event can learn how to investigate the paranormal by using professional equipment and discover the past of the museum.

The museum erected in 2013, in place of what was once a well-known retirement facility. Built in 1950, the retirement facility operated until 2005. About 30 years earlier, the house that you see next to the museum today, known as the Fields house, was the only building located on the property, built in 1925 for Dr. Fields and his family. Unbeknownst to us is what the property may have been prior to 1925. As we know, much of McPherson was prairieland. Originally, home to Native Americans long before settlers emigrated from Europe. What we know about McPherson begins in 1872, when McPherson became a town. However, we know nothing about the museum property specifically until 1925. The spirits roaming the museum today could be connected to the property from as far back as the 1920’s and maybe even earlier. On top of that, we also house over 40,000 artifacts with years’ worth of history attached to each single artifact, some possibly more than 150 years.  

"There is a piano that sits in the middle of our fine art gallery, at one time staff heard it playing after hours, however there was no one in there nor anyone was playing," Speck said. "Two of our staff members have one time smelled cigar smoke in the offices but could not find the source. Staff members have one time heard a woman singing but after investigating they did not find anyone else in the building and neither of them were playing music."

There will be time slots, limited to 30 participants, available each night of the investigations. Oct. 15 slots include 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 to 10:15 p.m. Oct. 16 slots include 6 to 7:30 p.m., 7:45 to 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Attendees will divided into groups of 10 and will rotate throughout the museum investigating areas with the most paranormal activity. Two members of the Spirit Hunters Paranormal Society will lead each team throughout the investigation. Each attendee will get their own KII EMF meter to use during the investigation.

"We did have a walkthrough with a member from the Spirit Hunters Paranormal Society, and picked up lots of paranormal activity around the museum, near or on artifacts in the exhibit hall and in the storage rooms, and even throughout the offices," Speck said

Spirit Hunters Paranormal Society is based out of Wichita,  are known for their discreet, investigations and respectful of the history and the possible paranormal of the places they investigate. They will never use ouija boards or any "negative conjuring." They ar always use professional equipment. 

That equipment can include electromagnetic meters, cameras and digital recorders.

Speck said audio phenomenon is something experienced by museum staff in the past.

"There has been a couple of instances where a staff member has heard someone say ‘HELLO’ and no one was nearby," Speck said. "This is a personal of mine, where I was busy working on something, and heard a woman say ‘Hello’, like they were down the hall just greeting me, but when I went to look no one was there and I never heard footsteps indicating that someone was around. When I went up to the front to see if anyone had been in the back looking for me, no one was there."

There have been instances of decorative pictures in the office falling of the wall, and a set of speakers have been disconnected because of random, unexplained static.

This week's investigation requires standing and walking for an extended period, comfortable walking shoes recommended. Must be 18+ to participate.  Tickets can be purchased on our website at mcphersonmuseum.com/fundraisers.